habitants, Langcwiesche believes thatrnthe status quo will prevail. The frontierrnwill continue to be many things to manyrnpeople, but it will always be a gapingrnchasm between two nations. As he says,rn”The Rio Grande”—and by extensionrnthe rest of the border—”has becomernboundary first and river second. Andrntime is on the side of the government.”rnGregory McNamee is the author, mostrnrecently, of Gila: The Life and Deathrnof an American River (Crown).rnBrief MentionsrnThe Sixties: The Last Journal,rn1960-1972. By Edmund Wilsonrn(edited by Lewis M. Dabney)rnNew York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux;rn968 pp., $35.00rnThe disappointing qualities of this finalrnolume of Edmund Wilson’s diaries, duernpartially to surfeit (over 2,000 pages ofrnThe Twenties, The Thirties, The Forties,rnand The Fifties precede these almostrn1,000), have finally to do with the limitationsrnof the modern secular intellectualrnmind as it wrestles with the perceivedrninsufficiency, tawdriness, and dishonestyrnof the contemporary world. Viewed fromrnthis perspective, even Wilson’s enormousrnintellectual curiosity seems less anrninspiration and more a source of frustrationrnand depression for the reader whornhas devotedly kept company with therncritic and author from his youthful daysrnas a New York bohemian to his finish asrnthe fearsome Old Man of Talcottville.rnAs a writer and as a human being, Wilsonrnwas in his own way a great man andrna great American, at once an originalrnand a type that is, alas, now nearly extinct.rnThe scion of an established MiddlernAtlantic family, he inherited the positivismrnof the 19th-century Americanrnupper-middle class, as well as the strongmindednessrnthat never feared to be mistakenrnfor simple eccentricity; the firstrnled him into a flirtation with communism,rnthe second rescued him from hisrninterest in Marxist theory and practicernand caused him finally to renounce thernliberal bureaucratic statism that his formerrnideals had produced in postwarrnAmerica. (“Whether I stay or leave,”rnhe wrote in the 1960’s, “this is no longerrnthe place for me.”) Substantially, he devotedrnhis life to tracking the Enemy tornhis lair, only to discover in old age that hernhad been sleeping with him for decades.rnBy the time he made this discovery andrnbegan—characteristically—to talk andrnwrite about it, he was too much thernGrand Old Man to be punished or criticizedrnfor his heresies; instead, as BillrnKauffman observed recently in thesernpages, he was merely tolerated. All hisrnlife he persisted in cultivating too manyrninterests and toying with too many intellectualrnbaubles; he was a man who essentiallyrncould not see the woods for therntrees and who was egregiously wrong onrntoo many subjects. His intellect, thoughrnalways in play, was largely undiscriminating.rn”Do you believe in God?” hernasked a friend in his last years. “1 don’t.”rnHe didn’t need God; he had puppetryrninstead. He died in 1972 at the age ofrn77, still a morally strong man of learningrnwithout real wisdom, but finally clearsightedrnabout the aggressive monster hisrncountry had become.rn—Chilton Williamson, ]r.rnNever Stop Running:rnAUard Lowenstein and the Strugglernto Save American Liberalism.rnBy William ChafernNew York: Basic Books;rn592 pp., $28.00rn”What is one to make of such a life?”rnasks William Chafe near the end ofrnhis intimate investigation into thernperipatetic life of Allard Lowenstein.rnChafe’s Lowenstein was a man in perpetualrnanguish. From his days as a studentrnleader through his single term inrnCongress in the late 1960’s to his assassinationrnin 1980 by a drug-crazed formerrnprotege, Al Lowenstein was a man tormentedrnby his father (who demandedrnperfection), by his Jewishness, by his failuresrnto be returned to Congress, and byrnhis increasing sexual confusion: Chafe’srncontention is that Al Lowenstein, therncomplete political animal, was reallyrnAl Lowenstein, the incomplete sexualrnbeing. Ultimately a loner, the privaternLowenstein spent his life avoiding commitments,rndespite eventually acquiring arnwife and children. His was a life of fewrnfriends and many followers (most ofrnwhom just happened to be young, male,rnhandsome, impressionable, insecure,rnand WASPish). As his life neared itsrntragic end, Al Lowenstein, now divorcedrnfrom his wife and repudiated by his constituents,rnseems to have been comingrnto terms with the individual whornWilliam Chafe has decided that he wasrnall along: the second phase of his sexuallyrnliberated life was about to begin whenrnhe was gunned down in Manhattanrnas he worked to destroy another DemocraticrnPresident (Jimmy Carter) and elevaternanother Kennedy (Senator Ted).rnWas Lowenstein unlucky enough tornbe murdered just when he had finallyrntranscended his past? Perhaps. Yetrnwhile a no-longer-young student leader,rncirca 1968, might still move a crowd, anrnaging ex-student leader in the era ofrnReagan could only have been an embarrassment.rn-]ohn C. ChalbergrnLIBERAL ARTSrnINVOLUNTARY TREE SLAUGHTERrnThe New York City Parks Department spent SI,000 on a funeral for a tree, reportedrnNewsday last March. Complete witli a five-foot high memorial stone, printed programs,rnand black armbands for tiic mourners, the funeral service was attended byrnabout 100 people, 60 of whom were parks workers on the clock.rnThe tree, a 63-ycar-old blue atlas cedar, died wlien its roots exploded as contractorsrnwere trying to move it to another location to make way for the expansion of the Nationalrn’Icnnis Center in Flushing Meadov^s-Corona Park. During the funeral service,rntaps was played, “Amazing Grace” was sung, and a eulogy was given by Parks CommissionerrnHenry Stern. The park’s flags were lowered to half-staff.rnBut the cedar’s case is not yet closed. Stern promised that “an inquest will be heldrnto determine the precise circumstances. The matter could he called an accident, arncase of negligence, or involuntary tree slaughter.”rnIULY 1994/35rnrnrn